August is a non travel outside California month so I will take the weekends to play catch-up with L.A. breweries that I haven’t been to in a bit. But if you do travel, maybe layover in NewJersey and show support to their breweries who have been burdened with some truly galling laws.
~e-visits to (3) breweries from New Jersey who have been handcuffed by anti-beer laws ~ special featured review of pilsners and lagers
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events ~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark ~ A Book & A Beer reads Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby ~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to A History of Coffee ~ New Beer Releases and Best Beers of the Month ~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.
Italian Pilsners are hanging in there as a sub-style which is good news to me, since I like any and all form of pilsner as an IPA antidote. Trademark Brewing has their version, names Talking Hands. Described by the brewery as “Light, bright and crisp, and dry hopped with Tettnang and Saphir hops for a delightful bouquet of floral citrus and spice.”
Trader Joe’s looks to its own shelves to brand extend their popular items. Cookies end up in ice cream being one example and soon the mixing will be cookies and beer with Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter Beer.
17 different versions were brewed before the grocer was happy. Later in the year will see other new beers coming like Coffee Peanut Butter Cup Porter around Halloween and in the winter, Ginger Beer Spiced Stout plus a Toasty Cookie Spice Cider.
As we head into LABW11, look for more beers on shelves, such as these two upcoming summery offerings from Eagle Rock Brewery. The first is another collaboration (L.A. brewers sure like each other) and the second is the one that struck my fancy, ” The newest addition to our Daytrip series is headed your way! …. featuring produce from Schaner Family Farms, the inspiration for this citrusy ale.”
Brewyard of Glendale keeps on with the new beers and this month two hoppy offerings are dropping. India Pale SMaSH (Single Malt Single Hop) Common
This experimental pilot batch uses Meccagrade floor-malted 2 row and Ekuanot Cryo Hops.
EXPECTED – Mid October
Bavarian White Melon IPA
We’re brewing up a new IPA to replace our Juicy Lies IPA. Why? Just cuz. It will use the same hops but will be closer to an actual IPA in terms of color and body. The Mandarina Bavaria, Hallertau Blanc and Huell Melon hops give this light IPA a refreshing citrus flavor and pronounced hop finish. Perfect for the hot Los Angeles climate.
EXPECTED – End of October
It is hard to single out one brewery in San Diego but whenever my next trip takes me south from L.A., Societe Brewing will be at the top of the list to visit. One reason could be to try their take on “Feral” ales and to check out some of the newer beers that they have produced like….
The Fiddler San Diego-style IPA – “Playing off lyrics from Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas”, brewmaster Travis Smith says, “If you’re gonna brew in San Diego, you gotta have an IPA!” Societe is highly regarded for its lengthy lineage of IPAs, and its latest harnesses the attributes of a trio of hops—Simcoe, Eureka and Idaho 7—to bring something newBeer Styles and unique to its Out West family of hop-driven beers. Those hops were selected through Societe’s single-hop IPA program.”
The Statesman Pale Ale – “Crafted to bring forth a distinctly West Coast hop profile balanced by substantial yet subtle malt character, this beer is a modern interpretation of an American pale ale and Societe’s first foray into this venerable beer style.”
The Bachelor with Cashmere hops Single-Hop IPA – “The latest in Societe’s rotating line of IPAs exploring the world’s hop varietals, this beer exclusively utilizes Cashmere hops, a recently developed, en vogue cross between the Cascade and Northern Brewer cultivars.”
The Damsel Belgian-style Table Beer – “This New World take on the lowest-alcohol variety of monastic, European “abbey ales” is crafted to be highly drinkable and light in body, but big on floral and spice character imparted by our house Belgian yeast strain.”
The Thief Feral Beer with Locally Grown Grenache Blanc – “Grenache Blanc grapes harvested from North San Diego County’s Vesper Vineyards lend a brilliant vinous essence to this effervescent, layered and award-winning specialty ale, which is available in bottles for the first time.”
The first four on the list are draft only while The Thief is also on-sale in corked, caged, 500-millileter bottles (available only at the brewery).
If you haven’t made your way to the Navy Warehouse that is the cool new home of Brouwerij West, well, here are three more reasons that this weekend (or the next) might be opportune times…
…they have added three new beers including an IPA for those insatiable hop monsters.
Spoonful: “A Belgian farmer’s table beer (or, if you prefer, a Belgian single or Patersbier or Enkel – it goes by many names in Belgium), this beer is earthy, fruity, rustic and has been aged 4 months in stainless.
Grapefruit Radler: We first made this beer two weeks ago and it sold out quickly… but we just got another 600 pounds of grapefruits so it will be back again this Friday. We took a blonde base beer and added a whole lot of fresh-squeezed grapefruits from a farmer friend of ours.
Pinkerton: Yes, it’s an IPA! We were being asked almost everyday in the tasting room to please make an IPA. We had never intended to make one but we thought it would be a fun project. So our goal with this IPA was to incorporate the malts and yeasts we use currently into a Brouwerij West IPA. It sure was fun to make. Pinkerton is brewed with a blend of Dingemans Pale Malt, Bohemian Floor-Malted Barley and oats. Entirely late-hopped in the kettle and then dry-hopped with over 3 lbs per barrel of Wakatu, Dr. Rudi, Cascade and Denali hops. We combined an English ale yeast with our house Brett for primary fermentation. Super fruity and hoppy aroma with soft bitterness and a dry pallet. Hazy gold in color with a soft creamy mouthfeel.